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Body & Design

The Fujifilm X-E1 is quite close in design to the X-Pro1, with the omission of the optical finder and its associated mode switch being the most obvious differences. The top and front plates are made from magnesium alloy, and the top dials machined from metal, but a slight step-down in construction sees the back plate made from plastic. The buttons are too; but they're unusually large for a small camera, and positive in action.

The control philosophy is based around traditional analogue dials - the shutter speed and exposure compensation dials are on the top plate, and the aperture controlled by a ring on the lens. The back of the X-E1 is replete with buttons, offering lots of direct access, including the Q button that calls up a control screen from which you can change many of the camera's settings.

The Fujifilm X-series has always been unashamedly focused on still photography, with movies essentially an extra, and this philosophy continues with the X-E1. Most tellingly, there's no direct record button, something you'll find on all of its close competitors, and video recording is accessed as a drive mode (at which point, you can no longer shoot stills). Movie mode retains the same limitations as the X-Pro1, including the inability to control the shutter speed or ISO.

Top of camera

The X-E1's top plate looks much the same as the X-Pro1 and X100, with the shutter speed and aperture dial, power switch around the threaded shutter release button, and customizable 'Fn' button which controls ISO by default. But there are detail changes too - here you can see the cover for the pop-up flash, and small holes for the built-in stereo microphones for movie recording.

Design compared to X-Pro1

Existing X-Pro1 owners will be able to pick the X-E1 up and use it immediately, and swap between the two cameras with little fuss. This extends to the user interface and menus too.

From the front, the most obvious difference in design between the X-E1 and its big brother the X-Pro 1 is the loss of the optical viewfinder and its associated finder mode switch. The AF illuminator has moved closer to the handgrip, and the stereo microphones onto the top plate.
From the back the two cameras are very similar. The Playback button moves to the left side of the screen and there's a small flash release button beside the EVF, but otherwise the layout is the same. One noteworthy addition, though, is a diopter adjustment dial for the viewfinder, whose adjustments range from -4 to +2.
From the top you can see the X-E1's pop-up flash and stereo microphones. Look a little closer and the shutter speed dial has been simplified too, essentially borrowed from the X100; gone are the central lock switch and markings for 1/2 and 1 second, which are now accessed from the T position.

Optional accessories

The X-E1 gets a number of matched accessories to go with it. There's the BLC-XE1 half-leather case, with a hinged flap giving access to the memory card/battery compartment, and the HG-XE1 handgrip that bolts into the tripod socket (blocking access to the battery and card). It can also use a wired remote release (RR-80-W) that plugs in to the USB port, and there's a 2.5mm socket for an external stereo microphone (note, Mic depicted below is not a Fujifilm product).

Leather case BLC-XE1, ~$130 Handgrip HG-XE1, ~$150
 
X-E1 with accessory microphone  
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Comments

Total comments: 10
kreislauf
By kreislauf (10 months ago)

why was the X-E1 picture taken with a 35mm lens while MFT had the 50mm mounted and FF like A99 or 6D had 85mm???

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (2 months ago)

The 35mm F1.4 and the 60mm F2.4 Macro (the only two normal / short tele primes at the time of writing) are about equally sharp at f/5.6 and f/8 (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1487/cat/105 and http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1486/cat/105 ). In addition, the 35mm doesn't exhibit much field curvature, unlike, say, the latter-released 27mm/f2.8 pancake (more info on this problem: http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/855-fuji27f28?start=1 )

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (2 months ago)

(cont'd)

Finally, now that the absolutely stellar (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1674/cat/105 ) Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is out, non-macro people able to shell out the double the price generally prefer it to the old 60mm F2.4. (Of course, this may not have been a point in choosing the 35mm over the 60mm back then. Nevertheless, we are pretty lucky to have a studio shot demoing the field curvature / sharpness of prolly the most popular Fuji X prime, and not that of one that has since been overshadowed by a newly released one.)

0 upvotes
pscharles
By pscharles (11 months ago)

continuing my post . . .

I understand why Fujifilm designed the lens rings with those slim grooves for stylistic reasons, but I find myself frequently turning the wrong one because they all feel the same. I'll get used to it, but a rubber ring on the zoom would help. Also, the zoom ring is stiff and those little grooves are slippery. Rubber would help the grip.

I would suggest turning off the image display as the default is 1.5 seconds. The image display clogs up the EVF for 1.5 seconds making it impractical to follow action. It's in the menu under setup screen 2.

1 upvote
pscharles
By pscharles (11 months ago)

Had mine a short while, purchased in part due to this review.

A couple things worth mentioning in terms of this review. The exposure compensation dial on my camera has a very firm detent so there's no chance of an inadvertent movement of the dial. I've loaded body firmware 2.0 and 18-55mm lens firmware 3.0. According to Fujifilm, these updates are supposed to address a number of issues, including the slower focusing. I find the camera/lens focus speed to be quite good with this update in place.

0 upvotes
lbpix
By lbpix (11 months ago)

Had my xe-1 2 weeks now and I'm blown away by the quality of the images taken with the kit zoom lens. The images could easily be printed at about 50" and are in practice comparable to my D800. AMAZING!
In use too I love it. The EVF whilst not as clear as an SLR viewfinder, tells me all I need to know and enables me to see all the menus without putting on reading specs. I use it exclusively in EVF mode. It is light and handles superbly. The image stabilisation seems incredible- so far, as good as the D800 shots from a tripod! If you're in doubt, go and buy one.

2 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (11 months ago)

Can the back screen be turned off completely so only the electronic viewfinder is used for composing and shooting?

0 upvotes
vratnik
By vratnik (11 months ago)

sure

0 upvotes
newtonseye
By newtonseye (11 months ago)

when you say ":but powering off usually cleared the error." can you expand a bit on that. Was there a different fix at another time?

0 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (11 months ago)

What about shutter lag? Any appreciable delay from the time one pushes the button til the shutter actually releases?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 10